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The Making of Medicine

Lee Ritterband: Innovator of the Year

Lee Ritterband, who created the anti-insomnia program SHUTi, has been named 2019’s Innovator of the Year by UVA’s Licensing & Ventures Group.

Known formally as the Edlich-Henderson Innovator of the Year award, the accolade recognizes research that is is making a major impact. It can be won by an individual or team.

Dr. Ritterband was recognized both for his work with SHUTi — Sleep Health Using the Internet — and for developing other digital interventions. Most are automated and don’t require doctor visits, though there are cases and conditions, of course, that such interventions can’t handle.

For many, though, the interventions can be very effective. SHUTi, for example, has been tested in more than two dozens clinical trials in a variety of populations. It uses cognitive behavioral therapy to help people overcome their sleep problems. Put simply, it retrains them in healthy sleep behaviors.

“We are thrilled to honor Lee Ritterband for his work pioneering the integration of digital solutions for patients living with a variety of issues, including insomnia, cancer, diabetes and substance abuse, just to name a few,” said Michael Straightiff, executive director of the Licensing & Ventures Group. “Ritterband sits firmly at the helm of this emerging field, and his efforts to make these treatments available on a mass scale through commercialization stand to significantly reduce the overall cost of behavioral healthcare.”

You can read more over at UVA Today.

A faculty member at the School of Medicine won the award last year, too.

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